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date: 09 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the rule changes that have been implemented by the National Hockey League (NHL) to change how points are awarded in overtime games, and outlines the existing literature on overtime incentives within hockey, introducing a simple theoretical framework for analyzing the different overtime regimes in the NHL. While the previous literature has considered the 1999 rule change, it provides the first analysis of the shootout rule introduced in 2005. The chapter then presents empirical analysis for a comprehensive sample of NHL games played between the 1991–1992 and 2008–2009 seasons. Trends in tied-regulation outcomes and goal-in-overtime outcomes are also explored, and regression analysis is used to estimate the effects of the new overtime rules on game outcomes. The basic results were in line with the predictions (and previous work) regarding the 1999–2000 rule change: both overtime games and overtime goals became significantly more likely under the new rule.

Keywords: National Hockey League, overtime games, rule change, shootout rule, regression analysis, overtime goals

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